I left work without an agenda and found myself at a restaurant outside my local train station, nursing a huge glass of red in hopes of calming the nerves. Few sips on I laughed at myself for being that person. Alcohol should never be a resort to resolve unease but sometimes the fleeting feeling of numbness works.
So there I was sipping my drink when a young lady started chatting (loudly) about her recent activities. Apparently, she’s started to take on knitting as a hobby and takes her kit in school so she can finish a jumper in between classes and dodgeball practice. She’s also enrolled in a pastry class. Her elderly companion asked how she has time for all these things. She said she’s passionate about her hobbies so she makes sure she has time.
That was the kicker, I think. I miss having a hobby – some sort of life other than this work-eat-drink-play-sleep-repeat routine I have. I miss feeling passionate enough about something I would move mountains to make time for. I miss knowing that I’m the best version of myself especially when I’m doing something I can master like the back of my hand.
11 September 2005
I’ve been trying to find something I can really be good at. Something I can actually see myself doing and enjoying for the rest of my life. Something that can affect other people as I do what I do. My most unequivocal passion.
When I was relatively younger, I was obsessed with arts and crafts. My parents made me go to art workshops and though I wasn’t as good as [REDACTED], I managed to place either 2nd or 1st in most of the inter-school poster-making contests I’ve joined. At the peak of that artsyfartsy phase, I told my mom I wanted to be a painter and by the time I hit my 20th, I’d have single-handedly earned my first million. Now, a month shy of being universally legal, I am not at all acquainted with brushes and acrylic and my very business minded 14-year-old brother actually has more cash in his wallet than I do. Fudge.
In high school, I tried to find my forte through sports. I’ve kicked a lot of balls and swam thousands of laps. I loved the thrill of soccer (the smell of grass, the adrenaline rush, the thought of getting injured) and revered the competitiveness of swimming (surpassing your own records is a splash) and volleyball was something I enjoyed playing with my girl friends. Though I never really deserved MVP awards, I embraced being sporty even when my muscles cried out in pain. But as the much anticipated summer sun beckoned the end of senior year, I knew my career as a jock was over.
College brought forth a love I never thought I had until I got into UP Street. Ahh, dancing. The very thought of it liberates me. The ability to move your body in rhythm or even in silence is exhilarating. Performing is another thing. Perhaps most dancers would agree with me when I say that they undergo an enigmatic transformation when they are onstage. Ahh, dancing. I know I’m good at it but my standards say being good is not good enough. I regret not training as much as I used to. Perhaps if I had time to spare? No questions asked. In the meantime, my performances and my Janet Jackson fantasies are restricted in the four walls of my bedroom. Oh, and those occasional inter-org competitions.
Fudge. I wish I knew how it feels to be really passionate about something again. The thought of drowning in bittersweet mediocrity is terrifying.
Ahhh… mediocrity. Always been one of my greatest fears. If I’m being brutally honest, it’s not exactly difficult to doubt yourself when you don’t get validation, especially when you’re used to knowing and hearing how good you are or how good you can be. I grew up exposed to competitive culture where being the best is the only way to live, bronze medals are frowned upon, and superstardom is almost an innate thing. No, my folks were not “Asian tiger parents” but they were very motivational and made me aim higher for myself.
These days, though I feel like I’ve done quite well, a huge part of me still seems to be waiting to do something exceptionally great. I have plenty of interests I can tap, but I can’t honestly say I’m doing anything I’m super passionate about.
Oh well. I hope the best is yet to come. And I hope I’d stop making excuses and finally start making time to find that great beyond.